In February, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Brazilian dancer David Motta Soares booked an urgent flight to Turkey and left behind his dream job as a soloist in Russia’s world-famous Bolshoi ballet.
Fearing he would not be able to leave Russia when international airlines began canceling flights in response to the invasion, which Russia calls a “special operation”, Motta Soares said he fled wherever he could.
“I didn’t know where to go,” he told Reuters during a break from rehearsals in Rio de Janeiro. “I was scared… There was no way out.”
A few days after his quick departure from Russia, Motta Soares announced on his Instagram account that he had left the Bolshoi, “the place I called home for many years”.
“I can’t act like nothing is happening,” he wrote, adding that his heart goes out to his many friends and their families in Ukraine.
Motta Soares’ hasty departure from Russia, and his high-profile departure from the Bolshoi, are indicative of a broad western move away from Moscow since Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to wage war on neighboring Ukraine.
Motta Soares, who is about to star in a production of Swan Lake at Rio’s iconic Teatro Municipal, told Reuters it was difficult to leave Russia and that there were “sad times”.
“The Bolshoi is the world’s leading company,” he said. “It is the company that every ballet dreams of.”
But he said “it’s nothing compared to what they (in Ukraine) are going through.”
Motta Soares said that professional considerations also played a role in his decision-making: he dreams of working with other companies and choreographers in Europe. Staying in Russia would likely make that impossible, he said.
“Being in Russia, I was afraid that I would never be able to leave again,” he said. “I didn’t know what could happen.”
Source: CNN Brasil